BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom said on Monday it had submitted an application to the German government to draft digital vaccination passports, as part of European efforts to reopen travel for those with protection against COVID-19.
A spokesman confirmed that the telecommunications group had submitted a bid under a tender that was called up last week and closed on Monday. CEO Tim Hoettges told reporters on Friday that Deutsche Telekom plans to make an offer.
Health Minister Jens Spahn wants vaccination passports ready in 12 weeks as part of an EU plan in which they will serve as proof that the holder has been vaccinated or has recovered from a viral disease and thus has a degree of protection against the disease.
The EU executive aims to present its plans for a “digital green permit” on March 17 and to work with international organizations to ensure its systems also work outside the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
Deutsche Telekom, which is partially owned by the state, co-designed a German smartphone app that uses Bluetooth short-range radio chat between devices to indicate and warn those at risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Corona Warn application, which has been downloaded nearly 26 million times, was created in partnership with SAP. However, the business software group said that was not part of the offer for digital vaccination passports.
US software giant Microsoft declined to comment on reports that it participated in the tender.
Germany already uses yellow passport-sized booklets to keep records of individual vaccinations. Under the existing plans, this tape – which does not entail any travel privileges – will go digital next year.
Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik, Written by Douglas Busvine, Editing by Susan Fenton